Nearly 15,000 Houston County students ride buses to and from school.
Statewide, the number of students who ride a school bus is about 2 million.
At Lake Joy Elementary School last week, Georgia’s first lady Sandra Deal talked to students about the importance of school bus safety as all of Georgia’s students get back to school.
“I’m here to emphasize bus safety as they travel on our buses. I want to encourage them to use wisdom and teach the families to be safe,” Deal said.
Deal spoke at a wooden podium made to look like the front of a school bus. The podium had a stop arm just like a school bus to demonstrate what drivers are supposed to do when the arm comes out.
“Georgia law states that vehicles traveling in both directions must stop when a school bus activates its stop-arm on a two-lane road or a multi-lane road with no median or barrier,” according to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
Drivers who violate the law are subject to fines and points on their driver’s licenses.
“If you’re caught, it could result in losing your license,” said Harris Blackwood, director of the GOHS.
Since the safety campaign started, there haven’t been any school bus fatalities in the past two years, he said.
The GOHS and Deal credited more training for bus drivers, school bus cameras and driver education as part of the reason for the success.
“We love our children. We certainly don’t want to lose them from the carelessness of someone else,” Deal said.
She didn’t ride a school bus herself until she was in ninth grade.
Students were allowed to ask questions at the end of the presentation, but school bus safety weren’t top of mind. One asked about common core while another asked about the Georgia Milestone testing.
“If you’ve been coming to school and doing your homework, you’ll be fine. There is no reason to panic,” Deal told the students regarding the standardized tests.
As for favorite books, Deal, a former language arts teacher, topped her list with the “Hardy Boys” and “Nancy Drew.”